Houston-area charities say rising costs mean less donations for children

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Local charities are being hit from every direction as they try to provide gifts to children in need this holiday season.

Laura Ward, president and CEO of the Houston Children's Charity said the donations they are receiving are not going as far.

"He said he usually fills up a U-Haul truck for $6,000," Ward said of their partners with Toys for Tots. "This year he filled up a U-Hau truck twice for $11,000 each."

Ward said they anticipated challenges this year, so they scaled back some but did not expect it to be this bad. Typically, they provide four gifts each for 20,000 children. This year, it will be three gifts for 15,000 kids.

The number they are serving is down but the dollar figure they need to provide is up.

"The numbers are staggering and it never works out to where the balance is what you need it to be," Ward explained. "We have more needy families this year than ever before."

In addition to struggling with donations, Ward said when they do receive money, it is challenging to find the gifts they are looking for.

The Houston Children's Charity allows registered parents to go to the George R. Brown Convention Center and select gifts for their children ahead of Christmas. They provide the families with wrapping paper for the gifts but have found that is tough to come by this year in the quantity they need.

"We are going to local places, buying them out on a daily basis," Ward said.

Ward is confident that even with the struggles they are facing, they will have what they need by Dec. 18.

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